Quality professionals know the value of good measurement systems. They know that without trustworthy, high quality data you cannot make good business decisions. Unfortunately, most business people and many engineers don’t understand this value.
While process improvement initiatives, including SPC and its use of control charts, sometimes get the greatest attention in manufacturing environments, the backbone of a quality improvement effort is often the quiet, unnoticed measurement devices that represent an organization’s commitment to consistency and accuracy.
Most improvement projects have a goal—like reducing defects. Teams often want to jump in and start gathering data so they can solve the problems. Checking measurement systems first may seem like a waste of time, but a Gage R&R study is a critical step in any analysis involving continuous data.